all that is wicked

All That Is Wicked by Kate Winkler Dawson

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for All That Is Wicked:

There might be a correlation between amazing arrogance and sociopathy.

Quick synopsis:

The story of Edward Rulloff and his many murders in the 1800s.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

Edward Rulloff thought language was universal. Basically, he thought language was math.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

In regard to psychopathy, 25% of incarcerated men suffer from it. The percentage in the overall male population is 1-2%.

My Take on All That Is Wicked:

I had never heard of Edward Rulloff before, but he was one hell of a psychopath. All That is Wicked is about this nasty piece of work who in the late 1800s just kept killing people left and right. He somehow was both terrible at crime because he kept getting caught, but also very good at crime because he usually found a way out. At least, he usually found a way out until he didn’t rather definitely. While trying to escape the death penalty, various people come to talk to him because he is clearly intelligent so therefore, he must not be evil. Yes, people used to think that.

The story is a good one, but the best part of the book is actually Kate Winkler Dawson’s writing style. The true crime genre usually falls into one of two camps. Either the author writes in a very detached, aloof style from the crimes, or the author is so informal you feel like they probably didn’t do their homework. Dawson is the best of both worlds because she clearly immersed herself deeply in this subject, but she presents it like someone sitting on the couch next to you. This was a really fun read.


A fantastic historic true crime book. Read it. Buy it here!

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